Trip Planner:   USA  /  Texas  /  Big Bend National Park  /  Nature  /  Emory Peak
Emory Peak, Big Bend National Park
(4.8/5 based on 70+ reviews on the web)
Emory Peak, located in Big Bend National Park, is the highest peak in the Chisos Mountains. and the highest in Brewster County. The peak is named for William H. Emory, the chief surveyor of the U.S. Boundary Survey team of 1852. From the Chisos Basin the peak appears to be a minor ridge, while the summit of Casa Grande, one mile closer, seems to be much taller. From the west, Emory Peak is clearly visible as a point slightly higher than most of the mountain range.The peak can be reached by a moderate hike on a well-marked path across steep rocky terrain with an elevation gain of approximately 2500ft. The Emory Peak Trail is about long. Once at the base there is a semi-technical rock scramble to navigate before reaching the summit. No gear is needed for this climb although hikers should take great care. High-desert flora and fauna including alligator juniper, pinyon pine, mule deer, sotol, and Texas madrone may be seen along the trail. There are signs warning of mountain lions and bears.
Work out when and for how long to visit Emory Peak and other Big Bend National Park attractions using our handy Big Bend National Park trip builder.
Source
Create a full Big Bend National Park itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Big Bend National Park

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Big Bend National Park by other users

2 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM POLAND April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, outdoors, relaxing, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, teens, kids, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: November, teens, kids, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, outdoors, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, outdoors, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Big Bend National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a must do hike if you are in big bend. We had no trouble until we go to the last half mile of the trail. There it goes over uneven and loose rock which for us (over 60) was difficult. The fina...  more »
  • This is a challenging hike. It took us about 6.5 hours leaving from Chisos lodge. There are a lot of switch backs which make the climb easier and the trail is very well maintained. We didn't see any b...  more »
  • The first part of the hike (Pinnacles trail from Chisos Basin visitor's center, 3.8 miles), was extremely well-maintained trail, built I am sure by the CCC in the 1930s. It is challenging but not diff...  more »
Google
  • The best 360 panoramic views of the Chisos Mountains. We included Emory Peak in a South Rim day hike. We came up the Pinnacles Trail at approx 8am in Mid-July with no issues. It wasn't my first time taking this route to the Rim and it actually felt easier than previous excursions. This was, however, my 1st time up to Emory Peak. At the top of Pinnacles Trail we immediately switched over to the Emory Peak Trail and headed right up. Approx halfway up Emory, the July heat and increasing altitude made themselves known to me, and my pace dropped significantly. The final 1/4 of the trail was quite tiring, with the extremely loose stone trail joining my other tormentors - the heat & altitude. Upon reaching the base of the twin summits, we (my 72 y/o father) split up and climbed up to each of the peaks. I was wearing medium/light heavy duty hiking boots, which were a bit cumbersome for scrambling over the numerous boulders to the peak. We spent over 45 minutes at the top before continuing on our hike to the South Rim. The trip back down Emory Peak Trail was no easier than the trip up. The Emory Peak round trip is listed at 2 miles, but it felt a lot, lot longer than that! (to be fair, it's not like I'm getting any younger). It was a long, hot day on the trail to the South Rim and we didn't make it back to the Basin until approx 6:30pm. We were well prepared and equipped, however, if I had to do it all again, I'd probably reconsider Emory Peak's inclusion in a South Rim day hike in the middle of July. I felt the effects of Emory Peak Trail for the remainder of my day - I was definitely fatigued by the time I returned to the Basin. I wouldn't recommend attempting a Emory/South Rim day hike in July. The heat makes every additional mile seem much longer than it really is. That being said, doing Pinnacles up & down/Emory Peak is a very doable summer day hike that I wouldn't hesitate doing again, if given the opportunity. Some simple advice: Just make sure you're in shape, well equipped and carrying at least 3-4 gallons of water. A good hat, sun screen, sun glasses, and dry-wick clothing are essential. I love Big Bend.
  • Great sense of accomplishment by getting to the top. Tough climb, but the views are amazing.
  • 3rd tallest peak in Texas. watch out for the wildlife.